I started driving the cab at 4.00pm on Saturday so by 4.00am I was ready to knock off. My last fare for the night came through, destination Millbrook. Not knowing where Millbrook was I asked the customers, a young couple, who replied a little nervously, out the back of Yallingup. A long ride. We set off, via an ATM to get enough money to pay the fare, and when we reached the area they directed me up a succession of dirt tracks, heading towards a chalet high on the hill. Then came the unexpected news ,"oh, there's a tree across the track here, you've got to go around it". Fair enough I thought! Wrong! The detour was sloped and slippery and sure enough I got the cab bogged! Not deeply but just enough for the wheels to spin on the wet surface and refuse to grip.
I turned off the meter and we got out and attempted to dig it out and put some tree branches under the wheels to gain some traction. No luck. So one of the customers, the girl, set off up the hill to awaken their friends in the chalet and bring back help in the shape of a car and a rope. We hooked it up and tried pulling the cab out, with limited success. We managed to extricate it from it's most bogged position but could not drag it up the slope and back onto the track. A second, bigger car was sought but it was not successful either, managing to snap the rope instead.
By this time my absence from Busselton was causing concern and one of the other drivers called to see where I was.
When I described my predicament he said "no worries, I'll bring my rope and come and pull you out." The battery is flat too I confessed. "No worries, I've got a battery pack". When I mentioned the tree across the track he became even more enthusiastic, "I'll bring my chainsaw too"!
A man for all seasons!
With help on the way I sent the customers on their way to bed and awaited my rescuer.
He duly arrived, sized up the situation, and set about the task. A small tree was impeding the path so he reached for his chain saw, eyes filled with glee! Sadly for him he couldn't get it started. "Must be out of fuel" He whipped out a fuel can and filled the tank then resumed his efforts to get it started. No good. Meanwhile I managed to break the offending branch off with my hands and cleared the path. He quietly put the chain saw away and set about tying the rope, complete with a "perfect bowline".
Once charged the cab duly started. Next came the pulling phase. It came out pretty easily and we were soon back on the road, heading for home, some two hours after leaving town in the first place.
I got home at 6.30.
My next dilemma was that I'd arranged to meet a bloke at 8.30 to try and get The Heir's car going, it having been stuck at work for a week when he couldn't get it started.
I knew if I went to bed at 6.30 there was Buckley's chance of me waking up and getting to Broadwater by 8.30. So I bravely decided to stay up, and parked in front of the computer and web surfed as my eyes fought a desperate battle to close.
Finally 8.30 loomed but I knew I wasn't safe to drive in such a state of tiredness so I reluctantly awoke Mrs Holt Press and asked her to drive me to Broadwater. She readily agreed and we set off. John met us there and with a vastly superior mechanical knowledge than I, and an impressive array of tools with which to do the job, he set about working out what was wrong with the car. Spark plugs? OK Fuel supply? OK Battery? Not OK. Out came his mega battery pack; a few minutes later the car was sufficiently recharged to burst into life, and we were able to drive it home. Good job.
By then I'd got my second wind so we decided to go to the markets then out for breakfast at Samovar, both of which were very enjoyable.
We got home about 11.00 and I went to bed at last.
The only problem was, I was due on roster at the gallery at 1.00!
The two hours sleep seemed to last about 15 minutes!
I managed to drag myself out of bed and down to the gallery where Mrs Holt Press had preceded me to hold the fort until I was conscious enough to relieve her.
The gallery was mercifully quiet all afternoon and I passed the time working on some small paintings and listening to the footy.
From there it was a relatively short hop to the point where I set the scene on the blog on Sunday night.
There is more to the story but I figure that by Tuesday night, the abridged version will have to suffice.